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Adoptive parents and birth father fight for child custody

Denver family law cases, especially those involving children, can be difficult and emotional. All parties are generally interested in providing their children with the best life, though sometimes their own desires can help cloud judgments regarding what steps will most benefit the child’s future.

In a recent case, adoptive parents and the birth father of a toddler battled over child custody issues. According to reports, the little girl was legally and properly adopted by a couple, unbeknownst to the father. Upon finding out a few months later that the biological birth mother gave the child away, the birth father fought for his parental rights in court.

The birth father, a Native American, won custody after asserting his rights covered by the Indian Child Welfare Act. However, the adoptive parents disputed the court’s ruling and took it to the U.S. Supreme Court. They recently ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act was not applicable in this case given that the child was never in the father’s custody during the time that the adoption took place.

The couple was initially granted visitation rights but claim that the father didn’t allow them to see the young girl. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the child was to be transitionally relocated to give the adoptive parents primary custody, but the birth father failed to participate, keeping her for about a month too long. As a result, the court ordered that the child was to be returned to her adoptive parents and the authorities have charged the birth father with custodial interference.

In cases like these, one can only hope that all parties can determine what the best interests of the child are and act accordingly.

Source: CNN, “Oklahoma orders extradition of birth father in Native American custody battle,” Christopher Laible, Randi Kaye, Sep. 5, 2013

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Broomfield Office
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